House OKs bills denying services to illegal entrants
By Howard Fischer

PHOENIX - The House of Representatives approved two bills to deny services to people not here legally, and then voted to declare English the official language of the state and ban printing election materials in any other language.
Thursday's votes on services to illegal entrants are outgrowths of Proposition 200, which was approved at the ballot box in November. Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said the two new measures simply complete what voters started.
In fact, he said, the actions became necessary only because Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard issued a formal legal opinion that the initiative denying public benefits to people who crossed the border illegally covers only a limited number of state programs.
All three measures now go to the Senate.
The measure on official English, which would amend the state constitution, eventually would have to be approved by voters.
House Bill 2030, the broader of the two measures on services, would put a number of benefits out of reach of those who are neither citizens nor legal residents. These include enrolling in family literacy and adult education classes, being eligible for state-subsidized child care, and receiving help with utility payments.
It would also specify that someone has to be here legally to be admitted to a state university or community college.
House Bill 2264 would require illegal entrants to pay higher out-of-state tuition and would deny them any fee waivers, grants or any other type of financial assistance, even if they earned it through merit or academic performance.
The constitutional amendment would require official actions of state and local government to be conducted only in English. That includes not only laws but also public proceedings, publications, programs and policies.
Voters approved a similar measure in 1988. But that was voided by the state Supreme Court, which said it was so broad it would preclude public employees from providing even basic information to people in their native languages.